Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: humanity


Just ReBlogging a post from two months before my short novel was published—working on the second book in the series and could well apply these thoughts to the third book—once all three are out, my Work will be nearly done…

Notes from An Alien

I’m engaged in a discussion over in the forums of BestsellerBound about why the theme of my soon-to-be-published book will make it hard to sell.

I knew as I planned and wrote it that it would be, at the very best, a niche-book–of interest to a rather small audience.

While I certainly didn’t even attempt to write it for the “general reader”, I do hope that some small yet significant group of readers will find it valuable.

It is a story, yet the Prologue says: “…this book is a story told in ‘notes’. Even though some readers may think it is a novel or a history, its form is difficult to classify in what are called genres.”

The working blurb I have is even more indicative of Notes from An Alien being a book that won’t appeal to a wide market: Start with a 500-year InterWorld War. Continue through ecological…

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Can You Be Thankful for An Organization?


Folks are celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. Many are thankful to have something to eat, friends and family to visit, and a roof over their heads.

I’m certainly thankful for all that but I especially want to share my thankfulness for Gone Reading International, an organization working to supply, to the billion humans who have no access to them, books…

I interviewed the founder of the organization, Bradley S. Wirz, in the post, It’s Simple. They’re Gone Reading :-)

Brad also has a blog and, to understand a bit about why he’s devoting his time to getting books to deprived members of our human family, I encourage you to read his post, What Am I Thankful For? A Reader Gives Thanks.

Naturally, Brad is a devoted reader and his organization produces wonderful Gifts for Readers. The profits all go toward building libraries and advancing literacy programs.

Are there any organizations you’re thankful for??
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Can A Rant Be Beautiful?


The beginning of a comment I left on a blog post: “I feel your angst because I’ve felt that angst; and, even though I finally have answers, my angst has merely turned into bleeding grief for our Human Family.” The post, Wasteful, is a beautiful rant about modern incompetence and poverty. It reminded me of my novel, Notes from An Alien, which was written out of that bleeding grief and might help a few folks find ways of coping with the rampant insanity choking our world.

Cheryl Ives wrote the post and, after what I consider a beautiful rant about how modern incompetence is dangerously expensive, she lays out these four points:

1) Poverty is too expensive. It’s dragging us down and must not be permitted to grow or remain at the same rate
2) Poverty is so expensive because we grossly mismanage our resources
3) In the long run, it’s cheaper to do the right thing
4) Society is currently too immature to focus on the long run with any sustained momentum

While all four points are beautiful to me, I want to focus on what Cheryl says Society is too immature to focus on.

The Long Run

Notes from An Alien attempts to instill a sense of the Long Run by following eight generations of a family involved in helping their Worlds rise from war, greed, and poverty to enduring peace.

The Long Run on Earth has involved Humanity in the gargantuan effort of unifying itself at successive levels of complexity–family, tribe, city state, nation, and, now, the whole globe.

Notes from An Alien shows a civilization from another star system learning from their Long Run. Humanity is on the verge of a consummate transformation that will bring its Long Run into focus and, finally, bring Peace and Tranquility to our Global Family.

Cheryl also says: “At the core is my heartfelt belief that humans could … have the capacity to ensure that every life on the planet has shelter, food, water, clean air, some measure of security, and the ability to implement hygiene. It’s not an adequate goal but still pie-in-the-sky enough to be going on with.

“That we haven’t already achieved this provides simply another example of how badly things are done.”

So, the ultimate beauty of this rant is that Cheryl is one of the people doing something to help humanity. In case you’re new to this blog, I also featured her in the post, An “Open Source” Novel ??, that talks about a very unifying literary project :-)
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The Fiction Game


Is fiction just a game authors play with readers?

Let’s look at some of the root meanings of “fiction” and “game”:

Fiction: something invented; a fashioning or feigning; to shape, form, devise; to knead, form out of clay

Game: joy, fun, amusement; participation, communion; people together

Seems like fiction, with its ability to invent ways, that can be fun, to bring people together, to shape and form situations that can induce communion, readers empathizing with characters, can actually be a valid and valuable game to play

Awhile back, I wrote a post called, World Crises And Fiction Writers ~ Can They Help Humanity?, which is worth looking at, especially for all the comments readers made.

In that post I was exploring the idea that fiction can be used to “enlighten” the reader about social/global issues; not to preach but to present, not to moralize but to model, not to solve but to impel creative response.

Today, I watched an amazing video about a teacher who created a World Peace Game for his fourth graders. The game is a fiction but the children take it very seriously; and, they resolve issues that most adults find baffling.

For all you writers out there, I think this video could also give you some creative ideas for how to simulate a story

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Global Issues ~ Notes from an Alien


I spend a significant amount of time in a virtual world, Second Life. I’m the Events Manager for a place called Book Island and I’ve been having live readings every Thursday of chapters from my soon-to-be-published book, Notes from An Alien (get a free copy with the link over there in the side-panel).

Well, I finished reading the chapters and will be changing the format of my weekly event next Thursday, the 28th of April.

We’ll be having consultations about the various issues the book raises.

On a recent read-through of the manuscript, to assure myself that I actually had a final manuscript, I made a listing of the major issues.

If this is your first exposure to what my book is about, here’s my elevator-pitch:

Notes from An Alien is a Documentary Novel about an alien civilization’s rise from

greed, corruption, and war to enduring peace.

If you’re not the kind of person who can appreciate having a discussion in a virtual world, I also have a forum where the issues raised in the book can be discussed.

Here’s a listing (by no means complete) of various issues the novel raises, along with the chapters having significant action related to the issue:

Corporate Greed – 1, 2
Corporate Control of Populace – 1, 2, 4
Religious Wars – 1, 2, 3
Prophetic Predictions – 1, 3, 5
War-Just/Unjust – 1, 10
Constant Expansion As A Solution – 1, 2, 11
Non-Religious Religions – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 13
Military Control of Populations – 2
Rational Religion – 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11
Corporate Ecological Damage – 2, 4, 5
Material Realm/Spiritual Realm – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19
Science and Faith – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15
Spiritual Practice – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11
Costs of War – 3, 4, 5, 10, 11
Governance – 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14
Oneness of All People – 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19
Economic Issues – 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13
Altruism and Sacrifice – 7, 9, 11, 17
True Peace – 11, 12, 17, 18, 19

I’m sure I’ll learn one heck of a lot about how to facilitate discussions and keep them from turning into arguments :-)
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